Dancing Delicacies on the TV Channel 10 news program.

We designed Dancing Delicacies, a computational food system that enables food items to be “programmed” and “reconfigured” using “electrowetting on dielectric” technology.

Our system allows chefs to tell stories with their dishes by enabling them to animate their food items, creating richer eating experiences for diners.

This research proposes to see food as computational matter, allowing to see food in a new light: food can be programmed. However, it also allows to see computation in a new light: computation can now be eaten, raising the question: what does computation taste like? This could be particularly useful for computer science education, allowing IT students to “taste” their programming.

We designed a new plate that embeds “electrowetting on dielectric” technology in order to be able to execute precise motion operations of aqueous droplets. This technology utilizes electrical voltage to unbalance the force equilibrium at the solid-liquid-vapor interface, causing the droplets to move toward the charged electrodes.

The research demonstrates how we can make food more “interactive”, allowing for richer dining experiences.

Dancing Delicacies allows chefs to tell richer stories with their dishes by allowing to “program” their dish. The system could present different dishes to different diners, for example, to accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences.

This research can support the hospitality industry in brining unique dining experiences to their customers, offering something that they cannot get delivered to their homes.

We offer a provisional account of how food as computational artifact can facilitate enriched dining experiences through a novel approach to human-food interaction.

Talk at DIS’23, the ACM Designing Interactive Systems conference 2023.


“Dancing Delicacies” received the “Best Paper Honorable Mention” at DIS’23, the ACM Designing Interactive Systems conference 2023.

Prior work

See also our previous interactive food work called Logic Bonbon, iScream!, WeScream! and Sonic Straws.


Deng, J., Yang, H., Saini, A., Gaudenz, U. D., Yao, L., Olivier, P., & Mueller, F. Dancing Delicacies: Designing Computational Food for Dynamic Dining Trajectories. Designing Interactive Systems Conference. DIS 2023. Long paper. 244-262. ACM. VideoTalk videoBEST PAPER HONORABLE MENTION.

Additional Details

Dancing Delicacies on Jialin Deng’s website.


Media release

Forbes: Whoa. Watch Food Move Around A Plate All By Itself

New Atlas: Pac-Man on a plate: Play with your food to boost taste and experience

Hospopreneurs: Dancing Delicacies: Combining Food and Tech for Interactive Dining

Adafruit: Programming and reconfiguring food @exertiongames

Monash Lens: Dancing Delicacies: New meaning to the concept of ‘playing with your food’

Food Ingredients First: Scientists create tech-smart food that “dances” on the plate to revolutionize dining

TechXplore: Dancing delicacies: Combining food and tech for interactive dining


We thank everyone who has helped, especially Humphrey Yang (Carnegie-Mellon University, USA), Lining Yao (Carnegie-Mellon University, USA) and Urs Dominic Gaudenz (Gaudi Lab, Switzerland).